MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Indophil looks for more mines after Xstrata sale

Published by MAC on 2007-05-07

Indophil looks for more mines after Xstrata sale

Reuters

7th May 2007

SYDNEY, May 7 - Australia-listed Indophil Resources N.L. said it was looking for more mining projects in the Philippines after a $41 million sale of a majority stake in the untapped Tampakan copper and gold deposit to Xstrata Ltd. XTA.L.

"We would not turn our back on uranium, nickel or something else," Indophil's managing director, Tony Robbins told a mining conference.

Swiss-based Xstrata in March exercised a option to acquire 62.5 percent of the mine, located in Mindanao in the southern Philippines and potentially one of the largest copper and gold deposits in Southeast Asia.

The deposit is estimated to contain 11.6 million tonnes of copper and 14.6 million ounces of gold, which could be extracted at a fraction of today's selling prices, Robbins said.

Robbins said Indophil held A$110 million (US$90.68 million) in cash, giving it the financial clout to look for growth opportunities outside of Tampakan.

"That puts us in an excellent position to grow and it gives us a really strong strategic edge," he said.

Indophil retains 34 percent of the Tampakan project.

He said the plan was to build Indophil into a company producing the equivalent of a half-million ounces of gold a year within five years.

He said opportunities existed in between 10 and 12 countries within a three-hour time zone of the Philippines, including, Australia, Thailand and Papua New Guinea.

"We know how to operate in that part of the world," he said.

Four or five projects were under review "and something could be finalised in the not too distant future," Robbins said.

Robbins in the early 1990s helped identify the Tampakan lode for the then WMC company of Australia before resigning and forming Indophil.

Indophil stock, which has risen 10 percent since Xstrata took control of the Tampakan project March 30, closed off 2.4 percent at A$0.83.

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